Youth Involvement in Prostitution: A Literature Review and Annotated Bibliography

Appendix A: Annotated Bibliography[15]

Adedoyin, M & Adegoke, A. (1995). Teenage prostitution - child abuse: A survey of the Ilorin situation. African Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, .24, 27-31.

Changes in traditional attitudes towards sexuality and sexual expression in African society has resulted in greater sexual activity among youth and an increase in the average age of entry into marriage. An increase in adolescent prostitution has accompanied this transformation in sexual mores. This study examines the nature of teenage prostitution in Nigeria by discussing the prevalence, factors, trends and characteristics associated with youth prostitution. The authors administered a semi-structured questionnaire to 150 teenage prostitutes. The results suggest a relationship between childhood sexual abuse and subsequent involvement in prostitution. One-half (50%) of the respondents indicated their first sexual experience occurred early in life, and many still lived with their parents when they became involved in prostitution. The article also discusses research implications and suggestions for future studies.

Aggleton, P. (Ed.). (1999). Men who sell sex: International perspectives on male prostitution and AIDS.London: University College London Press Limited.

The purpose of this edited collection is to explore the “complexities involved in talking about male sex work.” In addition to bringing together accounts of the male sex trade from around the world, the various authors attempt to understand and explain the male sex trade from a range of frameworks, including sociological, psychological, historical, economic, political, legal, and linguistic. The editor challenges readers to think of sex work “not as a fixed state or identity, but rather as a continuum ranging from organized prostitution, through brothels, escort agencies, and so on, through to unmediated transactions resulting from chance encounters of the sort described in a number of the chapters.” Issues discussed throughout the articles include sexual and gender identity (e.g., sex work as a way of coming to terms with being homosexual) and AIDS and male sex work. The articles analyze sex work on several levels, “respecting both the extent to which the worker is often a more autonomous agent than his/her ‘victim’ status suggests, while not losing sight of the moral indignation with which Khan [one of the authors] reminds us that ‘for the vast majority of people sex work…is a survival strategy. For most it is a practice enforced by poverty, degradation, homelessness, hunger and powerlessness, a form of slavery to economic, social and cultural deprivation, stigmatization and marginalization…’”

Alberta Government Press Release (November 2001) Government to Amend Law Protecting Children Involved in Prostitution.

On November 21, 2000, the Alberta Government tabled amendments to the Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act in the Alberta legislature. The amendments were introduced to “ensure that children’s rights are protected and to enable them to receive additional care and support.” The amendments will extend the confinement period from 72 hours to five days. “Also, a Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution director can apply for a maximum of two additional confinement periods of up to 21 days each. This additional time will enable social workers to stabilize the child, help break the cycle of abuse and begin the recovery process in a safe and secure environment.”

Alberta Government Press Release (May 2000) Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act.

The Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution Act “recognizes that children involved in prostitution are victims of sexual abuse.” The Act protects children by: recognizing the victimization of youth involved in prostitution; providing community support for youth wanting to leave prostitution; providing protection services for “children who do not wish to end their involvement” in prostitution; and, “enabling police and child welfare workers to apprehend children involved in prostitution.” Children can be detained in protective confinement for 72 hours for assessment. In addition, police can arrest “pimps and johns who pick up children for sexual favours.”

Allen, D. (1980). Young male prostitutes: A psychological study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 9, 339-426.

The background of male hustlers includes a difficult home environment, “deprived socio-economic status,” and poor educational and job-related skills. This 3-year study on males who exchange sex for money with other males involves semi-structured open-ended interviews with 129 male sex trade workers in Boston (data from 98 of the interviews included in this paper). Questions focus on the psychosocial background of the participants, including discussions about their origin, social and family history, education, sexuality, alcohol and substance use, and delinquency. The author categorises male prostitutes into four groups: 1) full-time street and bar hustlers; 2) full-time callboys or kept boys; 3) part-time hustlers; 4) those involved in prostitution as an “extension of other delinquent acts.” The four groups are compared on their psychological history, motives, and type of operation. The data suggests that part-time male prostitutes, who remain in educational or vocational programs, are the only category of male prostitutes who express the ability to achieve a “stable social adjustment.” The author asserts that there is no “typical” young male prostitute; respondents had various backgrounds and motives for becoming involved (and staying involved) in prostitution.

Allman, Dan. (1999). M is for mutual A is for acts: Male sex work and AIDS in Canada. Ottawa: Health Canada.

The purpose of this report is to review the literature of “male sex work in Canada, with particular emphasis on HIV and AIDS.” The author’s goal is to provide a better understanding of the realities of sex work and to “…inform the very pressing legal, ethical and policy debates on the role and rights of sex workers in Canadian society.” Estimates of the number of males involved in prostitution vary between jurisdictions (e.g. one estimate suggests that 10% - 33% of prostitutes in a number of large Canadian cities were men). Areas of the literature surveyed in this report include: male sex work and the Criminal Code, demographic information on male sex work, male sex work and STDs, HIV and AIDS, previous research on street youth and young male sex work, indoor male sex work, clients of male sex workers, Aboriginal male sex work, the media and male sex work and Canadian social theory applied to sex work. Among the findings: research suggests that a majority of males entered prostitution before 18 years of age; money is the ‘primary’ reason why young men enter prostitution; male sex workers experience violence from “homophobic onlookers who assault and/or rob them;” there is little information on indoor male sex work and Aboriginal male involvement in the sex trade. According to the author, although there is variation in the research on condom use, the available evidence refutes “…the label of male sex workers as AIDS vectors.” “Instead, it suggests that increasingly, male sex workers in Canada are protecting themselves, their clients and their sexual partners from STD and HIV infection and transmission.” The report also includes a series of recommendations about the importance of methodologically sound and “morally unbiased research on sex work.”

Appleford, B. (1986). Response of the Canadian Psychological Association to the Badgley and Fraser reports. In J. Lowman, M. Jackson, T. Palys, & S. Gavigan (Eds.), Regulating xex: An anthology of commentaries on the findings and recommendations of the Badgley and Fraser reports. Burnaby, British Columbia: Simon Fraser University.

This paper reviews the response of the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to the Badgley and Fraser Reports. Among other things, the CPA suggests the establishment of a national body to co-ordinate responses (professional services and prevention and education) to the Badgley Report. The CPA agrees with both Committees that much more need to be done to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth. However, the Badgley Committee’s recommendation to criminalize young prostitutes represents “excessive zeal,” and only serves to re-victimize youth involved in the sex trade. Overall, the CPA urges the federal government to co-ordinate legal and extra-legal initiatives (both in the public and private sectors) in response to the Badgley and Fraser Reports.

* Atchison, C., Fraser, L., & Lowman, J. (1998). Men who buy sex: Preliminary findings of an exploratory study. In J.E. Elias, V. L. Bullough, V. Elias, & G. Brewer. Prostitution: On whores, hustlers and johns (pp. 172-203). New York: Promethus Books.

The authors of this chapter review their research on clients of commercial sex trade workers. The report includes a discussion of methodological strategies used to research clients and the “conceptual framework” used to analyse the results. The article includes discussions of “gender differences from a feminist perspective” (e.g. why men purchase sexual services and the reasons men purchase sexual services from youth). The researchers note a difference between men who purchase sex and those who do not, noting, “clients report having earlier sexual experiences and are more likely to report having been sexually abused as a child.”


[15] Annotations appearing with an * were provided by the British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General.

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